First, thanks all who welcomed me to this board. I appreciate your kindness. I am kind of shy, and fearful, but my keyboard makes me powerful! I have so many things I want to say, discuss, thrash out, complain about. I hope that I don't try everyone's patience in case this is ground you have all covered before. I will start with this one.
Has the aspect of child exploitation in field service ever bothered anyone as much as it does me? By this I mean playing on the fact that many householders are charmed into taking literature from neatly dressed, cute, scripture-quoting, Watchtower-offering young children. (Even as young as 5 years old.) Mostly this is done with parents or others looking on silently, but at times kids are sent to the door without adults (who may keep an eye out from the car).
I remember once as a child myself, and not a JW, having a witness child come to my door alone while his parents sat in the car at the curb. I was extremely disturbed for him at the time, and never really got over it. I hated having to practice this with my own children, and did it as little as possible, even though I was told that I was denying them the opportunity to express their faith. They, the kids did not seem as bothered by it as I was though. I never was very comfortable with it though. Is this just a personal hang-up on does anyone have similar feelings?
hi, truman, welcome to the board:) this practice bothers me as well. i think one byproduct of it is teaching the children while they are very young, that, because they are witnesses, they have the right to judge adults. some children start developing a high and mighty attitude that they don't even fully understand at a very young age. one jw grandmother (only 55years old) told me that her 7 year old grandson had every right to judge people as sinners. WOW!!! just spouting my 2-nate
p.s.forgive me, i'm feeling very cynical today:)
Hi Truman! So glad to have you here!
I was raised a JW. Since it was all I ever knew I really didn't pay attention to it being the exploitation of children. I can see how you are right, though, as I look back on it.
I was enrolled in the TMS at age 6. I remember being a householder (asst. really on my mom's lap) but don't remember being an actual householder by myself with my mom giving the talk. I do however, remember my very first talk all by myself. I was 6 and my younger sister who was only 3 was the householder. She obviously couldn't even read, neither could I well for that matter. Our setting was playing meeting. She was so young that she could only answer with one word, which inevitably were "Jehovah" "Jesus" "In heaven". Although I'm grateful for the training I received (my very first part on a Circuit Assembly in front of over 1000 was at age 6 giving an experience w/ my mom) I now cringe at giving a child of that age such pressure in front of all those people.
Specifically what you were talking about......I distinctly remember my parents training my younger sister at probably age 2 or 3 to ring the doorbell and simply hand the householder a tract. She was so small that usually one of my parents was holding her at the time. After the householder would open the door either Marisa would shove the tract in their face immediately or one of my parents would say "My daughter has something she would like to give you."
It's all so ridiculous to me now! They were using our cuteness to peddle magazines!!! I'm sure Jesus would be so proud!
Thanks for bringing it up. It's sometimes fun to walk down memory lane!
About 40 years ago I was in a car group of sisters with my mother on a cold wintery day. A couple had just returned from a house and we were ready to drive to the next house when someone noticed this man in a bathrobe coming toward the car whom they just preached to. Excited they thought he had a change of heart.They were wrong, he gave them a good service talk on how my life was being ruined, I was 4 or 5 then.He said I should be home enjoying life as a kid & playing in the snow.I silently agreed with him.All the women said ,"he wants to be here". I think Christ was around 30 when he first went out.